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Distinguished Professorships in Humanities

The Distinguished Professorships in the Humanities are funded by income from an endowment created by an NEH Challenge Grant awarded to the College of Arts and Sciences. The college created the professorships to recognize extraordinary and ongoing achievements by senior scholars in the humanities. Each professorship provides an annual salary supplement of $8,000 plus $1,000 for research support.

In determining eligibility for the Distinguished Professorships in the Humanities, the college relies on the following definition, found on the website of the National Endowment for the Humanities:

The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.

Nominations of qualified faculty members will be accepted from any of the following units: Anthropology, School of Art, Classics, English, History, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, School of Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Theatre.

Nominees must hold terminal degrees in their respective disciplines, be tenured full professors with at least ten years of service, and have served at least five years as a UT Knoxville faculty member.

Current holders of Distinguished Professorships in the Humanities may be re-nominated for another term. A list of current and past holders of the professorships appear below.

Nominations must  include the following items:

  1. a letter of recommendation from the nominee’s department head
  2. a report of a vote by the tenured faculty on the nomination
  3. the nominee’s current vita (limited to ten pages)
  4. an example of the nominee’s recent scholarship (published within the last five years and limited to one book or two articles)
  5. a brief statement (1,000 words) by the nominee describing his/her current scholarly project(s)
  6. a detailed timetable for the project(s) described in 5, above

Nominations for Distinguished Humanities Professorships are due to college office by May 2, 2022. Please send all materials electronically (except for books, where applicable) to the attention of Marla Roberts.

Nominations will be reviewed by an appointed committee of senior faculty members.  The dean will make final selections based on the recommendations of this committee.  If you have any questions regarding the Distinguished Professorships in the Humanities or any aspect of the nomination criteria or procedure, please contact Marla Roberts.


Length of Award Recipient Department
2020-2025 Amy Elias English
2020-2025 Gregory Kaplan Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2020-2025 Lois Presser Sociology
2018-2023 LaVinia Jennings English
2018-2023 Roy Liuzza English
2018-2023 Ernest Freeberg History
2018-2023 Mary McAlpin Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2017-2022 Vejas Liulevicius History
2017-2022 Adrian Del Caro Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2015-2020 Daniel Feller History
2015-2020 Gregory Kaplan Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2015-2020 David Reidy Philosophy
2014-2019 Nancy Henry English
2014-2019 Tom Burman History
2013–2018 La Vinia Jennings English
2013–2018 Ernest Freeberg History
2013–2018 Dorothy Habel Art
2013–2018 Michael Handelsman Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2012–2017 Adrian Del Caro Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
2010–2015 David Reidy Philosophy
2010–2015 Ernest Freeberg History
2009–2014 Tom Burman History
2009–2014 Stanton Garner English
2008–2013 Dorothy Habel Art
2008–2013 Michael Handelsman Modern Foreign Languages & Literature
2008–2013 Palmira Brummett History
2008–2010 Stephen Ash History
2006–2009 Nancy Goslee English
2003–2008 Palmira Brummett History
2003–2008 Dorothy Habel Art
2003–2008 Rosalind Hackett Religious Studies
2003–2008 Michael Handelsman Modern Foreign Languages & Literature
2003–2008 Robert (B.J.) Leggett English
2003–2008 David Tandy Classics
2003–2006 Charles Faulkner Anthropology
2002–2003 Rosalind Hackett (1-yr. appointment) Religious Studies
1998 – 2003 Richard Aquila Philosophy
1998 – 2003 Charles Faulkner Anthropology
1998 – 2003 Robert Gorman Political Science
1998 – 2003 Michael Handelsman Romance Languages
1998 – 2003 Robert (B.J.) Leggett English
1998 – 2003 David Tandy Classics
1998 – 2002 David Dungan (retired 2002) Religious Studies